So far this offseason, I’ve done draft profiles on potential first-round offensive tackles in Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning and Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere. Today, we’re talking about another tackle prospect with just as much upside as the previous two but he’s currently being projected as an early day two pick as due to being viewed as more of a developmental prospect.
At 6’7 and 305 pounds, Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann is exactly what the NFL is looking for in it’s prototypical offensive tackle. He’s got a great build with plenty of lean mass without sacrificing a ton of functional strength. However, Raimann has only been playing offensive tackle for two seasons. The former tight end was running routes and catching passes for his first two seasons in college before stacking on the weight and converting to tackle for the 2020 and 2021 campaigns.
Despite the massive lack of experience at the position, Raimann graded out as the nation’s top left tackle by Pro Football Focus with an overall grade of 94.6. That’s just insane. Obviously this is the big reasons why scouts and analysts alike are so excited about his potential as he continues to grow into the position.
Raimann is currently ranked as the 77th-overall prospect on The Draft Network’s big board and the seventh-ranked offensive tackle. Per senior draft analyst Kyle Crabbs, Raimann’s best scheme fit would be in a wide-zone heavy scheme such as what Kyle Shanahan is running in San Francisco. With the Chargers offense having some aspects from the Shanahan tree thanks to current quarterbacks coach and former San Francisco assistant Shane Day, Raimann would seemingly be a great fit. Yes, he’d have to move sides, but he’s likely not so embedded on the left that he couldn’t feasibly switch sides prior to year three of playing the position.
Just how I like any of my offensive line prospects, Raimann shows the grit and tenacity to finish opponent’s when he’s given the opportunity. In the clip posted below, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski shows one of the many plays that officially established a draft crush on the fledgling tackle.
Not going to lie, I have a bit of a crush on Central Michigan LT Bernhard Raimann in this year's draft cycle. pic.twitter.com/rXFtLbAiPc— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) October 23, 2021
The native-born Austrian started all six games play by the MAC in 2020 before going on to start his entire final season for CMU. As a tight end, he started 11 of 26 games during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, catching 20 passes for 164 yards.
Crabbs compares Raimann to current Vikings right tackle Brian O’Neill who was also a converted tight end during his time in college at Pittsburgh. However, we all know how that turned out as O’Neill is currently one of the league’s best on the right side and is coming off his first year of a massive five-year, $92.5 million contract extension in Minnesota.
Of course with all prospects tagged with some sort of “developmental” label, there’s a chance Raimann isn’t starting day one in the NFL. However, I would predict that period wouldn’t last all that long, if so.
Perfect stunt pickup by Bernhard Raimann (LT):— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 21, 2022
-Sets on the end & passes him off w/ some strength
-Keeps a post arm to help the OG
-Redirects to the outside & picks up the DT
Knowing how valuable offensive tackles are in today’s NFL, even if Raimann’s true draft ranking is somewhere early on in the third, I believe his position will push him into the second round. Heck, maybe even the first depending on whether or not a team falls absolutely head-over-heels for him throughout the remainder of the pre-draft process. If the Chargers don’t go with a tackle in the first, Raimann at #49 would be a heck of a pick in my opinion.
As always, let me know what you all think of Raimann in the comments below and where in the draft you would feel content with the Chargers selecting him!